Rogue's Gallery came to the Mutual network on September 27, 1945 with Dick Powell portraying Richard Rogue, a private detective who invariably ended up getting knocked out each week and spending his dream time in acerbic conversation with his subconscious self, Eugor.
Rogue's Gallery was, in a sense, Dick Powell's rehearsal for Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Powell played private detective Richard Rogue, who trailed luscious blondes, protected witness, and did whatever else detectives do to make a living. It was a good series, though not destined to make much of a mark. Under the capable direction of Dee Englebach and accompanied by the music of Leith Stevens, Powell floated through his lines with the help of such competents as Lou Merrill, Gerald Mohr, Gloria Blondell, Tony Barrett, and Lurene Tuttle. Peter Leeds played Rogue's friend Eugor, an obscure play on names with Eugor spelling Rogue backwards.
The gimmick in Rogue's Gallery was the presence of an alter ego, "Eugor," who arrived in the middle of the show to give Rogue enough information for his final deduction. Eugor was a state of mind, achieved when Rogue was knocked unconcious. Eugor would appear cackling like the host of Hermit's Cave and imparted some vital information the hero had overlooked. Rogue would then awaken with a vague idea of what to do next.
Rogue's Gallery also starred different actors as Rogue, in later incarnations of the series, but Richard Powell was the most popular. This series preceded Richard Powell's most famous series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Rogue trailed lovely blondes and protected witnesses in the new tough guy persona of Dick Powell. This was the transition series for Powell in his quest to be recognized as an actor rather than a singer. It had some of the same cute elements that would make Richard Diamond a high spot four years later.
During the summer of 1946, the show was billed as Bandwagon Mysteries, with a tip of the hat to the sponsor. In the summer of 1947, it was again revived on NBC Sundays for Fitch, with Barry Sullivan in the title role. In 1950 the character again turned up in a two-year sustainer on the ABC Wednesday-night schedule. Chester Morris played the lead. Chester Morris was the original Boston Blackie.
NOTE: Updated Release! Version 4 added "45-10-11 Murder in Drawing Room A" episode (16-Mar-2011).
NOTE: Updated Release! Version 3.1 added an episode "45-11-29 Little Old Lady", upgraded others, and fixed MP3 tags. (24-Jul-2010).
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August 26, 2017 Subject:
Let's see, #1 Blondes is the same as #7 Blood on Sand, #10 Anson Leeds is the same as #14 Snowbound. And I forget which show #16 duplicates. It's the one with the train and the switched briefcases. Perhaps it's just a temporary glitch.
Lovely show, anyway.
April 11, 2016 Subject:
Black-and-Blue Pate Special
Anything with Dick Powell is worth listening to. I love his delivery; I'm never quite sure how he'll read the next sentence or where he'll pause to take a breath. Great personality!
Powell speaks quickly and confidently, but you'll hear him stumble a bit, like he's reading too far ahead (or like he needs glasses!) My favorite is in episode 54/Lady With a Gun: around 22:45 he starts having trouble, gets through the sentence and throws in a "Holy Christ!"
It's funny how many shows (radio, movie &TV) of this time period, and well up to today, used the idea of knocking people out as part of the plot. And how many of us grew up believing how easy it was to do and that it wasn't permanently disabling.
I was thinking that, with all the blows to Rogue's head, Powell's speech should have become progressively slurred throughout the show until he couldn't solve anything and was finally hospitalized.
The audio quality is superb. I'm guessing the shows were recorded on vertical discs because tape didn't come into practical use until 1948. The Archive levels are pretty consistent from show to show.
Dick Powell makes some fluffs here and there. But that makes him human.
I'm giving it the highest rating for acting, story and technical quality.
HINT: Could someone please fetch THE FALCON series and put them on Archive?
July 2, 2007 Subject:
Twenty episodes from this collection star Dick Powell and the remaining episode stars Barry Sullivan. When listening to the latter episode, the reviewer realizes how much Dick Powell adds to the character of Richard Rogue. Richard Rogue is a detective from the 1940's, tough guy, chases blondes, good persistent investigative skills, good wit and likes to have a good time. Many times he will turn down a case but, upon a monetary offer, he will take the case. However, his sensitivity does come through at times. His alter ego, Eugor adds an interesting touch to the program. Many of the programs have an interesting twist which helps Rogue solve the mystery.
An interesting exchange occurs in the Nov. 8, 1945 program, when Rogue talks about how good an actress June Allison is. Lisa asks whether June Allison is prettier than she is. Rogue refuses to answer and starts singing "June is busting out all over."
The only reason that I have not given the highest rating possible for this series is that the quality of a couple of the shows is not the best. However, the few problems do not detract from enjoying this series. Thanks to those who put together this fine collection.